EU Foreign Affairs subcommittee calls for military spending and the provision of weapons for improving combat capability of African forces fighting jihadism

EU Foreign Affairs subcommittee calls for military spending and the provision of weapons for improving combat capability of African forces fighting jihadism
The Joint Africa-EU Strategy © European Union (2017)

The European Parliament subcommittee on Foreign Affairs called the European Union (EU) to coordinate the development and security initiatives in which it is involved as part of an integrated strategy.

The subcommittee, in light of the grave and profound degradation in the security conditions in the region and in order to fill any gaps in EU missions and projects, called EU members to supporting the capacity-building of partners in the security sector, including through funding for military spending and the provision of weapons, ammunition or lethal equipment, transport and training essential for improving the combat capability of African armed forces fighting against jihadism

In a draft report on EU-African security cooperation in the Sahel region, West Africa and the Horn of Africa, the European Parliament subcommittee on Foreign Affairs calls for the EU to help the joint forces of the G5 Sahel to become operational through the direct provision of financial assistance for the acquisition of adequate weapons and military equipment.

The subcommittee said that restrictions on military equipment have allowed third countries, notably Russia, China and Turkey, to “fill the void left by the European Union by supplying such equipment”.

The report recognise that poverty and insecurity feed off each other and push young people to migrate toEurope in search of a better life, impoverishing states by depriving them of their best human resources. All these above-mentioned challenges will be exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Neither the Somali army, nor the Malian army nor the Central African Armed Forces (FACA) have been able to contribute effectively to the fight against jihadists or hold and secure the ground cleared with the aid of friendly international forces, the result being that the local populations feel abandoned and fear being accused of collaborating with the government by the jihadists or the armed groups in the CAR once they return and reoccupy the space from which they were expelled,” the report said. “After years of involvement in the above-mentioned civil and military missions, the general situation has become worse and worse and a new and comprehensive strategy therefore needs to be implemented.”

The subcommittee said that the EU should continue its financial support to AMISON via the APF, maintain the presence of the three EU military missions (ATALANTA, EUTM Somalia and EUCAP Somalia), support democratic institutions and continue anytraining of the national army not linked to regional interests

The subcommittee calls EU members to considers that the sustainability and effectiveness of EU civilian and military missions in Africa have been hampered by the lack of basic equipment in the countries affected and that it is therefore necessary.

The European Union has conducted four military common security and defence policy missions and operations to train and advise the Armed Forces of Somalia (EU training mission (EUTM) Somalia – 2010), Mali (EUTM Mali – 2013) and the Central African Republic (EUTM CAR – 2016), one naval military operation (EU naval force operation (NAVFOR) ATALANTA – 2009), and three civilian missions to train and advise the internal security forces of Mali (EU capacity-building mission (EUCAP) Sahel Mali – 2012), Niger (EUCAP Sahel Niger – 2014) and Somalia (EUCAP Somalia – 2014).

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